Coca Cola Championship
QPR 1 West Ham United 0

Saturday, 16th October 2004
by Richard Osborne

What an utter disaster.

We started badly with players that aren't fit for the reserves only to get trounced by a physical team with no real class but 100% passion. They had three players to our every one today and won everything. We deserved nothing, except maybe a few penalty shouts that the ref had covered in his "I am going to be the worse ref in the league" handbook.

No Carl Fletcher meant that the central midfield was left up to Steve Lomas to win. If he never pulls on the claret and blue again, I would be delighted. He is terrible; can't tackle, pass, mark, chase, head. Today he didn't even look average; he was p*ss-poor.

Lets start at the back. Stephen Bywater, for all the play didn't have much to do, especially in the second half. The make-shift back line looked and played like it sounded. Hayden Mullins has sunk to a new low; I was stunned that he came out for the second half.

Their goal was coming to them - it was so obvious. Mullins was getting skinned by his man and the returning Anton Ferdinand was failing to get to grips with the game. Confusion reigned as Sergei Rebrov was pushed over the hoardings by a player, but as it was off the pitch the referee played on. We didn't and paid the penalty. To rub salt into the wounds the offending player was booked, after the goal was given!

Second half we had the lion's share of possession, but because of their dogged determination (and what only can be described as cheating), they got the result. I am not trying to take the win away from them - good on them, we deserved nothing - but their (numerous) fouls went unpunished. Two blatant penalty shouts, a hand ball with the arm up in the air (well above his head) and Zamora getting jumped on from behind and dragged to the floor by the excellent Danny Shittu.

Bircham should have been double-yellowed by the 50th minute let alone single-yellowed by the final; constantly bringing down Reo-Coker and Rebrov he was left to run riot in midfield. Reo picked up a card for a nothing challenge which just turned things sour.

We needed big players, not only in mentality but in physique. The game cried out for the likes of Don Hutchison who can bundle his way through players, but we only glimpsed him in the last few minutes.

The biggest shock of the day was that Tomas Repka.... get this..... was pushed up front! I kid you not! Twinkle toes himself. Well, that just about sums it up. An injury plagued squad and we didn't turn up on the day. Well done QPR.

Ref watch

P. Taylor (4)
Never want to see another performance like that again. He didn't lose us the game but he didn't help. Deliberately picky, stopped the game from flowing and just made plain wrong decisions. Didn't protect any of our players and just made a pig's ear of the game.

Manager watch

Alan Pardew (5)
Can't help but think that he got it all wrong today. His faith in Mullins is unfounded. Players that were awful just stayed on the pitch. Sergei or Chadders should have been off in the first half when we weren't winning the midfield battle. Short of choice I know, but just played the wrong team today; mind you easy to say that now!

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Player Ratings

Stephen Bywater
What he did do, he did well enough. Had to be alert today, but not so much in the second half.

Hayden Mullins

Chris Powell
One of the few to come out with any dignity.

Tomas Repka
To be fair, actually not too bad. Some good challenges but didn't link up well with Anton. Guess that will need time (that we are running out of).

Anton Ferdinand
Looked rusty, switched off, passed like he was wearing his boots on the wrong feet.

Steve Lomas
Just get rid please Pards. His strength was his gob; now he doesn't even use that.

Nigel Reo-Coker
Just kicked off the ball the whole game. Hid in the second half.

Luke Chadwick
Knocked off the ball every time he got it. Unable to use his dribbling skills and his passes were mainly blocked anyway.

Sergei Rebrov
Actually not a bad game, just ran into a mass of players every time he won anything.

Bobby Zamora
To be fair he did chase back. Other than that was absolutely no threat whatsoever. Time for the stiffs I think.

Marlon Harewood
Spurned two gilt-edged chances.


Chris Cohen
(Replaced Chadwick, 66) Failed to make any impact at all.

Don Hutchison
(Replaced Etherington, 45) Started to make a difference. Should have been on from half-time.

Jimmy Walker
Did not play.

Rufus Brevett
Did not play.

Trent McClenahan
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Stephen Bywater, Hayden Mullins, Chris Powell, Tomas Repka, Anton Ferdinand, Steve Lomas, Nigel Reo-Coker, Luke Chadwick, Sergei Rebrov, Bobby Zamora, Marlon Harewood.

Goals: None.

Booked: Sergei Rebrov 68 Tomas Repka 80        .

Sent Off: None sent off.     .

QPR: Day, Bignot, Shittu, Rose, Santos, Cook, Rowlands, Bircham, Gallen, Cureton, Furlong.

Subs not used: Edghill, Bean.

Goals: Rose (21).

Booked: Rowlands (52), Bircham (63).

Sent off: None.

Referee: P.Taylor.

Attendance: 18,363.

Man of the Match: Chris Powell.